Guitar lesson for

Feathered Indians

by Tyler Childers  •  Lesson #107

Video Lesson

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Editor’s notes

Tyler Childers is one of the very best new country artists I’ve heard in the past few years - and this opening track (“Feathered Indians”) from his album Purgatory is a terrifically fun one to play. My tutorial here will teach you how to play it: intro riff, chords, and strumming. I’ll show it all, with a very thorough walkthrough of the intro riff (which can be a bit difficult at first). Even if you don’t pick up your guitar to play this song, I recommend giving Tyler Childers a listen! My other favorites by him include Whitehouse Road and Lady May (I have lessons for both).

Lyrics w/ chords

(capo 5th fret)

    E ––2––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
    B ––3––––––––––––––––|––0h2––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––
    G ––0h2–2––4–2––2p0––|––0h2––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––
    D ––0––––––––––––––––|––0h2–2––4–2––2p0––|––0–––––0h2–4––2–0–|––0–––––0h2–4––2–0–
    A –––––––––––––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|––0h2–2––––––––––––|––2h2–2––––––––––––
    E –––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––
        D                   A                   G                   G                 

        D                               A
    Well, my buckle makes impressions on the inside of her thigh
         G                                 G
    There are little feathered Indians where we tussled through the night
      D                              A
    If I'd known she was religious then I wouldn't have came stoned
      G                                 G
    To the house of such an angel too f*cked up to get back home

       D                           A
    Lookin' over West Virginia, smoking Spirits on the roof
                G                          G
    She asked, ain't anybody told you that them things are bad for you
      D                                                      A
    I said many folks have warned me, there's been several people try
           G                                    G
    But up till now, there ain't been nothing that I couldn't leave behind

        A                G        A                    G
        Hold me close my dear.... sing your whispering song
        A            G        A             G
        Softly in my ear, and I will sing along

                                    Bm      A       G
            Honey, tell me how your love--- runs--- true
                    Bm           A           G     A
            And how I can always count on--- you..... to be there when the bullets fly
                G                            G (let ring)      D (start intro riff)
            I'd run across the river just to hold--- you--- tonight

             D                                   A
    Well, my heart is sweating bullets, from the circles it has raced
    Like a little feathered Indian, callin' out the clouds for rain
           D                                   A
    I'd go runnin' through the thicket, I'd go careless through the thorns
    Just to hold her for a minute, though it'd leave me wanting more

        A                G        A                    G
        Hold me close my dear.... sing your whispering song
        A            G        A             G
        Softly in my ear, and I will sing along
                                    Bm   A    G
            Honey, tell me how your love runs true
                    Bm           A        G    A
            And how I can always count on you... to be there when the bullets fly
                G                                        D
            I'd run across the river just to hold you tonight

Capo 5th fret!

Tyler Childers plays this song with a capo on the 5th fret - and I do too in my video lesson. As always, you can follow the tabs and chords and play the song by yourself just fine without a capo - but you’ll be in a different key from the source recording. I’ll also note, that a capo makes this song easier to play - in that the fret width becomes a bit thinner up around the 5th fret, making some of your pinky stretches easier.

How to play the chords

You’ll need these four chords for this song:

E –––2–––––––3–––2–––
B –––3–––2–––3–––3–––
G –––2–––2–––0–––4–––
D –––0–––2–––0–––4–––
A –––––––0–––2–––2–––
E –––––––––––3–––––––
     D   A   G   Bm

For the A-major, play it like this during the intro riff. This will free up your ring finger (left hand) to play the necessary flourish note.

E –––––––
B –––2–––  <--  Use index finger
G –––2–––  <--  to barre the 2nd fret
D –––2–––  <--  on these 3 strings
A –––0–––
E –––––––

Intro riff

First, understand the underlying structure:

See PDF for tab.

Then, add these flourish notes. If you’re able, keep that strumming hand moving steadily, adding in the other strings as you please.

See PDF for tab with finger diagrams.

Strumming pattern

To start with, use all down strums - and try to give the 2nd and 4th beats an emphasis or accent.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D   D   D   D  
    >       >

If you want to flesh it out a bit, try this (down, down, down-up-down-up).

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D   D   D U D U
    >       >

Song structure


"My buckle makes impressions..."
D . . . A . . . G . . . G . . .   x2


"Hold me close my dear..."
A . . . G . . . A . . . G . . .   x2


"Tell me how your love runs true..."
Bm A G . . . Bm A G . . .

"To be there when the bullets fly..."
A . . . G . . .

Good luck!

Let me know if you have questions. I hope this was helpful.

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